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Parental Control Tools

The first measure of control parents should take with their children is education. The close second is taking steps to safeguard devices.

What are Parental Control Tools?

Parental controls are software tools that allow you to monitor and limit what your child sees and does online. 

Kids today have never known a time when they weren't connected to the internet. This presents parents with the impossible task of keeping track of an increasing variety of applications, social media platforms, and communication lines.

Parental control tools are invaluable resources for parents to help manage activity on their child's devices, and control what kids have access to and when:

1

Manage Access to Apps

Parental control tools can block your child from accessing specific websites, apps or functions. They also allow parents to enable apps at set times (eg. leisure time) and block access to selected apps during education time. 

2

Filter

These tools allow parents to filter different kinds of content,  including ‘adult’ or sexual content, violence, drugs and gambling. Setting can also be adapted to vary for different age groups to be more sensitive for younger ages, or slightly more relaxed for teens.

3

Monitor Activity and Control Screen Time

Parental control tools allow parents to monitor their child’s use of connected devices. Parents can receive reports on the sites their children visit and the apps they use, how often they are accessing them and the duration for which they use them. Parents can also set time limits, blocking access after a specified time of day (eg. 9pm - Bedtime). 

How are they different to turning on Manual Settings?

Implementing any settings on your child's device is a vital step in the right direction. We want to encourage all parents to take steps to safeguarding their childs' devices, whether it be by implementing manual settings or parental control tools

To make the choice of whether manual settings or parental control tools are best for your family, the following points are important to consider:

When implementing manual settings, you will need to do this on every individual device, and across every app and browser. Parental control tools allow you to register all of your children's devices at once, which push out all of your settings in one go.

Some manual settings can be easy for kids to bypass or turn off. Parental controls are more difficult to remove, and even when kids are successful, parents will receive reports when this has happened.

Parental control tools allow for flexibility with different filtering strengths and accessibility of apps depending on your child's age. This will allow for settings to be age-appropriate, whereas manual settings are more of a blanket setting for all ages.

Parental control tools allow you to split up screen time into different categories. This means that you are able to categorise your child's day into “school time” and 'leisure time.” Leisure time is where your child may be able to have access to YouTube and games or social media platforms. These apps will be disabled during “school time", to allow them to focus. Some parental control tools also allow parents to manage their kid's settings remotely.

One of the greatest barriers to safeguarding your child's device is accessing it. When it comes to most manual settings, you'll need to be able to physically access your child's device every time you need to change their settings. Some parental control tools allow you to manage access to apps and games on your phone, meaning you will only need to have physical access once, during the initial setup process. 

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What do Our Experts Recommend?

Whether you choose to implement manual settings or parental controls, taking any step to safeguard your child's device is extremely beneficial. Here's what we suggest when it comes to manual settings vs. parental controls.

Manual Settings Ages 0- 9
Parental Controls Ages 10+

We don't think it's a necessity to have parental control tools installed for kids aged 0-9, as correctly-implemented manual settings should adequately protect children within this age bracket.

We suggest the use of parental controls for children and teenagers aged 10 and above, lasting until around 16 years old. Parental control tools importantly safeguard the age groups that (developmentally) have an increased tendency to bypass or hack manual settings, and are therefore exposed to greater cyber safety risks.

Which Parental Control Tool
We Recommend

We recommend the use of Family Zone. This Australian-based company is a world-leading tool, which works within the home on laptop devices, and out of the home even when connected to 4G. Parents can use the parent app to manage their child's online activity remotely. For more information about Family Zone, visit the websIte here